Photo © Eclipse Aerospace
Eclipse Aerospace announced on Thursday that the company has received a supplemental type certificate (STC) from the FAA for new auto throttle and anti-skid brake (ASB) systems for its Eclipse 550, a new-production very light jet that the company says is the "most fuel-efficient jet in the world."
The new auto throttle system was developed in conjunction with Innovative Solutions & Support, and this STC is the first of its kind for a jet certified under FAR Part 23. The new auto throttle system will allow pilots to input the intended airspeed into the autopilot system and the auto throttle system will automatically adjust to the correct power setting. To gain the STC, the auto throttle system had to conform to some Part 25 standards, including quick disengagement controls for each pilot.
The Anti-Skid Brake system, also approved with this STC, was designed by Advent Aerospace and is the only light aircraft ASB system that doesn't require a bulky hydraulic system. Advent Aerospace boasts that it's a lightweight, easy-to-install system that provides better control and improved stopping distance for very light jets.
The Anti-Skid Brake system can also be retrofitted to fit Eclipse 500 aircraft that have the IFMS Avionics package.
Since the Eclipse 550 is in the very light jet category, it can be certified under FAR Part 23, which is designed for light general aviation aircraft under 12,500 pounds. Since most general aviation aircraft fly under Part 91 and occasionally Part 135 operating rules, FAR Part 23 is less restrictive than FAR Part 25.
FAR Part 25 certification stadards apply to commercial operations including business jets. Aircraft certified under Part 25 are required to have certain standards of system redundancy and procedures in place that would allow for the safe continuation of flight in case a system fails.
According to a federal register docket regarding the Eclipse 500 auto throttle STC, FAR Part 23 does not "sufficiently address autothrottle technology and safety concerns" and in response, required special conditions to be met for approval of the Eclipse 500, and ultimately, the Eclipse 550.
The Eclipse 550 has two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engines rated at 9oo pounds each, giving the lightweight aircraft enough power to cruise at 375 knots to 41,000 feet smoothly and efficiently. The Eclipse 550 starts $2.9 million.
Product rollouts continued in the first day of the 2010 NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention in Atlanta Tuesday, the first official day of the event, as Piper premiered its new and improved PiperJet, dubbed the Altaire. The $2.6 million single-engine VLJ will get a larger, rounder fuselage that is nine inches taller and four inches wider and will come outfitted with the L-3 Trilogy ESI-2000.
Company officials say the PiperJet Altaire will be able to fly 1,300 NM at a max-cruise speed of 360 knots.
It will come packaged with a Garmin G3000 avionics suite, a sunken-aisle cross section to allow ease of movement and three-foot-wide cabin door for easier passenger or cargo shuttling.
Piper says its modified VLJ will cost an average of 25 percent less per hour to operate than comparable aircraft.
“While the earlier PiperJet design, with its Piper M-class cabin cross section, provided a comfortable environment, we wanted to give our jet customers an even roomier light jet that incorporates a scalable design paving the way for a future family of competitive business jets,” said Piper CEO Geoffrey Berger.
L-3 representatives say the ESI-2000 enhances safety by placing a digital standby instrument in a glass cockpit that displays attitude, altitude, airspeed and optional-heading data in a layout that matches most primary flight displays, minimizing a pilot’s chance of disorientation during an emergency.
“Trilogy provides a clear and constant source of backup data that acts as a safeguard for the electrical system and air data computer,” said Larry Riddle, vice president of business development for L-3 Avionics Systems, in a statement released by Piper. “Should either system become disabled, the ESI provides the information the pilot needs to make a safe landing.”
View more images of the PiperJet Altaire here.
See ain interactive 360-degree view of the cabin here.
Piper Aircraft says it will display “the broadest and strongest single-engine product line in the aviation industry” during the upcoming NBAA annual convention, Oct. 19-21 in Atlanta.
The company will bring a mockup of a PiperJet featuring a larger and improved cabin, as well as a new name to be announced on the first day of the convention.
Piper will have both the PiperJet and Meridian mockups on display in the Georgia World Congress Center. Also on static display at Atlanta’s DeKalb Peachtree Airport will be the Piper Meridian, Piper Mirage and Piper Matrix.
"In these tough economic times every airplane in Piper's broad product line is a cost effective alternative to higher priced twins," Piper CEO Geoffrey Berger recently said in a company statement.
He and other officials with the company will be on hand during the events in Atlanta.
AIN recently reported on the PiperJet developments, citing company officials calling this “the next step” for the aircraft. The story also recapped a recent deal with Millennium Concepts to make “one of the safest and most reliable” seats for the PiperJet.
As the aircraft maker visits NBAA, work continues on its facility to produce the very-light jet, including adding air conditioning and other modifications to a 75,000 square-foot building, reports AvWeb.